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It's a Full House!

It's a very full house here at the office - not to mention an extremely full refrigerator and even fuller hearts. We love each and every one of our new planners with their unique personalities and think it's really awesome to have a few extra smiles around. It's our favorite time of the year and we are so lucky to share this experience with them. Get to know our passionate bunch below!

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Carley Thomas

Event Manager

Favorite Color: Blue, pink, green… She doesn’t discriminate. Unless it’s orange and even then she’s pretty accepting.

Zodiac Sign: Gemini/Cancer… she was born at noon on the summer solstice!

Dream Vacation Destination: Any beach that comes with white sand, blue water and warm sun. I guess she doesn’t discriminate on beaches, either?

This firecracker never fails to keep the rest of us on our toes. From being a serial hobbyist to a 26-year old great-aunt to four, Carley stays busy and upbeat; attempting to move to anything she can dance to. I wasn’t kidding when I said serial hobbyist. You name a hobby; she’s tried it. Right now, she’s really into water coloring and stoked the weather’s warming up so that she can start hanging with her plants again! Inspired mostly by love, she puts her heart into everything she does. Before joining the High Beam team, Carley gained event experience anywhere she could. From wedding planning to non-profits, she fell in love with the industry and knew it was exactly where she was supposed to be. Her favorite part of event planning is being able to exercise her creativity on a daily basis while also detailing the logistical side like balancing budgets, creating timelines and organizing. She says the best part is working with an amazing team and witnessing everyone’s hard work payoff in the end. Carley loves the unique atmosphere in the office that holds pressures and stressors that only those who have been through the craziness of SXSW understand. She says it allows for a priceless bond in a space where everyone feels like family. We love you too, Carley!

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Kelly Ford

Event Coordinator

Favorite Color: Green

Zodiac Sign: Leo

Dream Vacation Destination: Thailand

Straight from Chicago, Kelly obviously flocks towards hip-hop and rap, showing her love for music in everything she does. Before moving to Austin, she worked as a stagehand for House of Blues in Chicago after graduating from the University of Iowa. Now, I know what you’re thinking – Iowa? Well, this girl has traveled to all 50 states so she must know something that we don’t. Inspired by her grandmother and mom, Kelly keeps family close even from across the country. When asked what she loves about event planning, she said, “The moment I can finally stop running around to look at every one in the crowd enjoying the event, and know that they’re having a good time because of my hard work!” She also claims that her favorite thing about the office is getting to stare at Carley Thomas’ beautiful face every day. When she’s not impersonating Drake, you’ll find her sewing or hand-making jewelry in her free time!

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Jarrod Salaiz

Event Manager

Favorite Color: Navy Blue

Zodiac Sign: Cancer

Dream Vacation Destination: Madrid, Spain – who doesn’t love paella and wine?!

Meet Jarrod, High Beam’s one and only former improv karaoke competitor. I guess when you grow up in south Texas you really have to get creative on Friday nights. Apparently he won the season after shaving his mustache live on stage while singing ‘Somebody to Love’ by Queen. Don’t worry, he grew it back and got on the next train to Austin as quickly as he could. Inspired by upbeat music, bold artwork, patterns and use of color, we’re absolutely sure he picked the right profession in the best city to do it. Before working at High Beam, Jarrod was an onsite manager for a local catering company, assisted with wedding planning and even served as a marketing assistant for a men’s fashion line that benefited research for multiple sclerosis! We know, we know – we’re very lucky to have him. He loves the challenges of being an event planner because he has the opportunity to express his creative side, balance budgets and often times, get his hands dirty! His favorite thing about the office is our bullpen style of productive brainstorming. I mean, surround yourself with a team like ours and you’d become a creative genius too. When he’s not actively sipping mimosas, you’ll find Jarrod and his friends catching some rays at Kruse Springs or roaming the lands of local eateries.

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Stephanie McKeever

Event Coordinator

Favorite Color: Purple or Tiffany Blue

Zodiac Sign: Taurus

Dream Vacation Destination: Fiji in an overwater bungalow!

Stephanie moved to the hill country last summer as a newly wed after marrying her high school sweetheart! Surprise, surprise, another Texas A&M Aggie made her way to Austin as soon as she could. As southern as they come, she grew up in Sugarland, Texas where it’s only fitting to absolutely love country music! Before joining the High Beam team, she spent a year in Houston working as a meeting and association coordinator. She loves event planning and witnessing her client’s reaction when they see her hard work come to life! Stephanie’s favorite thing about the office is sharing the natural sunlight with an amazing team, as she finds inspiration in the world around her. Aside from spending time with her husband, she enjoys dance classes and working out to relieve stress. When she’s feeling risky, sometimes she’ll ski the Swiss Alps during a blizzard!

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Michele Passaretti

Event Assistant

Favorite Color: Turquoise

Zodiac Sign: Leo

Dream Vacation Destination: Spain, Brazil, The Philippines, Thailand, Australia…. Apparently she has the dreamer’s disease.

Meet Michele, our youngest to join the rockin’ party we call the real world! Fresh out of college, she considers herself extremely lucky to join the High Beam team and move to the city she’s only dreamed about! As prepped as can be for the Texas heat, Michele grew up among the lakes and canyons of Arizona. This might explain her love for the great outdoors, water sports and hiking. Not to mention, her slight obsession for exotic plants and painting pottery. She loves being an event planner because she is able to create bold and inventive trend-setting ideas in a meticulous way. Who would have thought this creative brain would also love working with money, numbers and budgets! She wants to thank her dad for that one – and well, basically everything else she knows. He is her biggest inspiration and the sole reason you’ll always find her listening to classic rock and roll. Her favorite thing about the office is sharing it with super down-to-earth co-workers and that it’s a place where they can all be themselves.

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Ana Lozano

Event Manager

Favorite Color: Blue

Zodiac Sign: Aquarius

Dream Vacation Destination: London

As a native Austinite, naturally Ana’s favorite hobby is happy hour. All drinks aside, she finds this city to be her biggest inspiration. I mean, we can’t blame her – this place is magical! Like, maybe, even, almost comparable to Adele’s vocal cords? Sorry, Beyonce, you’re not the Queen in Ana’s world. And with a degree in theatre from The University of Austin, she obviously knows how to judge a performance by its vocals. Before beginning her journey on the High Beam team, Ana bounced around as a corporate event planner for AMD, IBM, Apple and a local event planning company. Her favorite thing about the office is her team and all of the lovely natural sunlight – which may I point out, is a very popular favorite around this place. Ana loves event planning because no two events are ever alike so she claims that it never gets boring! We agree! We love what we do too – especially who we do it with.

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Tara Murtagh

Event Manager

Favorite Color: Black

Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius

Dream Vacation Destination: Galapagos

Meet Tara! Hi Tara! This girl joined the High Beam team yet again after spending some time working for GPJ between SXSW seasons. We are so glad she’s back for round two and can’t wait to see what this fashionista has up her sleeve! Seriously, if the best-dressed award existed around this place, it would definitely be Tara. Watch out, she totally means business. Her favorite thing about the office is the open floor plan and obviously her awesome coworkers. She says the best part about being an event planner is watching all of her hard work come to life. Inspired by her mom, Tara strives to make her family and friends proud. Believe it or not, she can play the saxophone, piano and clarinet! This totally explains her love for Indie music and is just another reason why she fits right in with the live music capitol of the world!